Appalachia Gardening

Sow True Seed

Sow True Seed has once again signed on to sponsor the Blind Pig and The Acorn garden as well as the Blind Pig & The Acorn Reporters @ Large planting project.

Sow True Seed is located in Asheville NC (they also have a great website for those of you who live to far away to visit).

When I first heard about the company, I was intrigued by their selection of heirloom seeds and once I realized they strive to find varieties that do well in the Southern Appalachian Mountains I was sold.

With an eye on the future, Sow True Seed has taken a stand to help ensure the purity of open-pollinated and heirloom seeds-so future generations can continue to grow their favorite veggies, save their seed from year to year, and continue the circle of growing that our ancestors handed down to us.

You can read more about their endeavor and sign a petition to “establish agriculture zones that are free from genetically modified (GM) crops and by asking for regulations to establish food labeling for ingredients containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)” by going here.

Sow True Seed has an impressive selection of vegetable, flower, herb, and cover crop seeds.

  • They offer open-pollinated, non hybrid, and untreated seed-meaning you can save your seed from year to year with each new plant’s yield staying true to the original yield.
  • Much of their seed production is USDA Certified Organic-and they’re striving to increase their organic varieties each year.
  • Heirloom seeds-which are always open pollinated-make up most of Sow True Seed’s inventory.

Sow True Seed also offers programs such as:

  • Customized Seed Packets – think weddings, birthdays, anniversaries
  • A Donation Program – Sow True Seed donates un-used seed to qualifying organizations and groups
  • A Wholesale Rack Program for retail stores
  • A Fund Raising Program for schools and other organizations
  • Garlic Fest – where you can learn all you need to know about planting, caring, harvesting, and storing your garlic

In addition you can get seed garlic, sweet potato slips, seed potatoes, garden collections, hand tools, tee shirts, gift certificates, and a variety of how to/gardening books from Sow True Seed.

Jump over to their website and while you’re there sign up for Sow True Seed’s great newsletter which is always a pleasure to read with helpful tips and gardening info. The newsletter is FREE and you even get a 15% off coupon for your next order. Be sure to check out the Sow True Seed Blog too!

Be on the look out for more information about the Blind Pig & the Acorn Reporters @ Large Planting Project in the coming days.



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  • Reply
    Granny Norma
    March 5, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Dear Tipper,
    If this is too controversial for your blog, I will understand.
    Thank goodness we have a conscientious company like Sow True Seed here in Western North Carolina. They are dedicated to providing untainted seeds and plant starts for home gardeners and small farmers. Unfortunately, that goal is becoming more difficult as time goes on. I am concerned that perhaps some of your readers may not grasp the seriousness of the GMO problem.
    By definition a GMO is: An organism whose genetic characteristics have been altered by the insertion of a modified gene or a gene from another organism using the techniques of genetic engineering.
    Although humans have genetically modified animal and plants since the beginning of civilization, they did it through selective breeding possible only within the same species through natural reproduction over decades or centuries. Modern techniques, however, can transfer genetic material from one organism to another to instantly create utterly different variants – and this is where it gets scary. Genetically engineered foods have had FOREIGN genes (genes from other plants or ANIMALS including bacteria) inserted into their genetic codes.
    Scientists in Norway have released results from experimental feeding studies carried out over a 10-year period. They found that:
    Genetically engineered feed causes obesity, along with significant changes in the digestive system and major organs, including the liver, kidneys, pancreas, and reproductive systems.
    Animals fed genetically engineered Bt corn were less able to digest proteins due to alterations in the micro-structure of their intestines. They also suffered immune system alterations.
    GM Roundup Ready crops and glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup) have also been linked to serious health problems, particularly relating to fertility and birth defects.
    This is just the tip of the iceberg. I urge everyone reading this to go to the Sow True Seeds website and Sign their petition for a GMO-free WNC.
    Additionally, I feel that it is very important to support small seed companies. Over the last several decades, hundreds of smaller seed and nursery companies have been bought up and incorporated into the major seed houses. This is how many of the heirloom varieties have disappeared. And it is also how big companies get rid of the competition and raise prices.
    Please forgive my rant. GMO food is one of the biggest scams ever pulled on humanity and it has me really upset.

  • Reply
    March 5, 2015 at 9:14 am

    I just signed up for the email newsletter 🙂
    We’re expecting more snow today. To take the edge off that, I will be spending at least a little time thinking about what to plant this year!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    March 4, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    Do you realize that heirloom foods are genetically modified? Our ancestors practiced it. When you save seeds from the best producing plants. When you kept the best pigs to breed, that is genetic modification. They selected plants and animals with the best genes to produce the next years crops, flocks and herds. When the easy life came along people drifted away from what had kept their parents and grandparents going. They burned the bus that brought us here. They accepted whatever was in the stores because it was so much easier. No need to save the best for seed. No need to overwinter that pretty sow for pigs next year. Kill her now and buy pigs next year or better yet buy meat from the supermarket. Their meat is inspected by the Federal government you know. It has to be better for you than what you can grow in your own lot. No need to have a cow when you can buy homogenized pasteurized white liquid in a plastic jug and it’s cheaper than keeping a cow. All it takes is to trust that the Department of Agriculture and the food manufacturers have our best interests at heart.
    I admire what Sow True and other like minded folks are trying to do but hope they realize that if we start to practice what they preach, they will be out of a job. I really doubt it is going to happen soon.
    PS: I’ll bet you’ve never taken a tow sack to a neighbor’s house and returned home with a just weaned wiggly pig in it.

  • Reply
    Ruth Binder
    March 4, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Many thanks to the Blind Pig readers who responded to our request for weather info. Unfortunately, we were ‘scared off’ and decided not to take the trip to Florida. It was just too risky for two (elderly) ladies. But it was just so great to hear from all of you, and Tipper too, that we just had to thank you. Ruth and Eleanor in Ohio

  • Reply
    March 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    I’m glad to see you’re speaking out
    a bit on all this hybrid stuff.
    We don’t know the long term effect on it either. I heard on the news that in 2017 we would be introduced to all kinds of things that would grow 3 times regular size, be less effected by pests and would not rot for many days. How is our
    system supposed to handle this?
    I trust the heirloom stuff much

  • Reply
    mary Lou McKillip
    March 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Sound like a good seed catalog . Mama would always have her garden pea’s in the ground in Feb. and poor thing always planted them for the rabbits, seems like they went in the rabbit tummy instead of on the table.
    We have a problem with deer in Mo., eating up our orchards etc. I guess when we get out this time we may eat deer meat all summer.I don’t guess we will plant a garden maybe some catchall (stripped squash( they make really good pies

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    March 4, 2015 at 11:27 am

    Thanks for the information about Sow-True seeds. It makes me want to grow everything in their catalog. That is impossible, but how about this? Why don’t you do a post about your garden? Tell us what and how much of everything you are growing.

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    March 4, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Tipper, I did not get to read yesterday’s post until this morning, but when I did I was so pleased. Don Casada’s tribute to Pearl was beautiful. I enjoyed hearing her tell about her dress so much. Thanks for a wonderful post.
    I do use some Sow True seeds and have always been happy with the results.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2015 at 10:55 am

    Much like Ethelene, I love the sight of those half runners. I wish I had a nickel for every one I have picked.
    Flooding here right now…seems like nature is having a hard time getting it right. Won’t be long until we can be feeling that fresh plowed earth ‘neath our feet, and this ole hardship weather will be forgotten.
    Signed the petition, and submitted for newsletter. If Tipper sponsors it must be alright.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    March 4, 2015 at 9:25 am

    This is truly a beautiful catalog. I love the art/graphics sow (true seed) much. (pun intended) They favor artists also. I would’ve loved to have applied for a chance at illustrating one or more of their seed packets. They advertised online looking for any artist to try out but didn’t have the time to do something new this time. Maybe next year.
    I would love to try and grow something different this year. I might try some different sunflowers or squash.
    We are supposed to get more ice, sleet and snow after midnight tonight. I tell you the truth, I am really over winter. Bhe birds are singing their Spring mateing and territorial calls. I wanted to look out this morning when I heard them at daylight and see big old blossoms of jonquils…Naught, zero, nada, none…not even my early ones.
    We really need some sunshine along with todays hi temp of 60ish…looks like a lot of rain…SIGH
    Great Post,
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…Tell Gayle, yes I love to put a sweet potato in water this time of year. Soon it is growing up and around the kitchen window. I never could, only one time for about 1 year, but have seen sweet potato vines that are several years old. Always the talk of the beauty shop or home-style family restaurant! In fact I remember one in a small town diner in Western NC….

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    March 4, 2015 at 8:55 am

    Tipper–Your post was a timely reminder to me that I need to pull out their catalog, which I have right beside my chair here at the computer, and get a number of things ordered. Mind you, we’ve had so much rain and damp weather that I can’t imagine it being dry enough to run the tiller until long after some things need to be in the ground.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    March 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

    The picture of those “white half-runner” green beans makes me hungry to pick, string and break a mess, wash them and get them on to cook for dinner–and even pick a bushel or two of them and can them for winter use! You can believe that much of that used to be in my past. We didn’t have “Sow True Seed” help then, but we saved our seeds from year to year. Daddy always aimed to have a “mess” of white half-runner beans by July 4 each year, and I don’t think we missed that many times in my growing-up years!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2015 at 8:39 am

    Ah! Looks like it is almost planting time. I look forward to the information. I am off to Sow True Seeds newsletter site.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    March 4, 2015 at 8:35 am

    My tree canopy has closed to the point I do not get enough sun to have a garden.
    Last year I spent most of my days pushing a pot of tomatoes around the deck trying to keep up with the sun. Not fun.
    I did do something yesterday that I wondered if any of your readers have ever done.
    I started a sweet potato vine.
    Just cut a sweet potato that has sprouted in pieces and put in water.
    My Mother always had one on the mantle. When it grew too big she would start another one.
    Good kids project./

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    March 4, 2015 at 7:17 am

    WE are still eating squash from last years planting. The Cushaw were a success in my garden. Happy to hear that they will be a sponsor again. More snow at my house overnight. Another 2 inches. Barbara

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 4, 2015 at 7:16 am

    Sow True is certainly doing all they can to insure our future….and I mean that literally.
    Do the research folks. Without these open pollinated seeds we lose all say and all control over what we grow and what we eat.
    Thank you Sow True!!!!

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